When Flight Lieutenant Natalie Wong took command of 2442 Squadron four years ago there were 30 cadets.
Now, there are 65, who enjoy many different activities ranging from fieldcraft and first aid to tackling Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
Natalie, who lives in Westbury-on-Trym and is a Rolls Royce aerospace engineer, received her certificate from the Lord Lieutenant, Mary Prior MBE JP, during ceremonies at the Merchant Venturers’ Hall, Clifton.
She was herself an Air Cadet before moving to the West Country and studying at Bristol University. The ATC, she jokes, is her “out of control hobby”.
Natalie stresses that the spectacular success of the unit is not just down to her leadership. “The key is that I have a very good staff behind me who offer as full an experience as possible to the cadets, who really enjoy the different activities, some of which would never be on offer in the civilian world.
“Another key element is the friendships that young people make in the Cadets, partly of course because we draw not just from one school but from right across the community.”
Also awarded the Certificate for Meritorious Service were:
- Corporal Richard Brown, Army Reserve armoury skills instructor with 105 Battalion, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Keynsham.
- Lieutenant Christopher Cameron, Senior Training Officer, Bristol University Royal Naval Unit.
- Peter Stanley, adult instructor with Clifton College Combined Cadet Force.
- Commander Clive Smith, Deputy Area Officer South West, Sea Cadet Corps.
- Captain Christopher Verrinder, Assistant County Training, City and County of Bristol Army Cadet Force.